Chantal Goya

Les Annees 60

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Considering her fairly high visibility as a mid-'60s ye-ye singer and star in Jean-Luc Godard's classic film Masculin Feminin, Chantal Goya is oddly underrepresented on compilations of '60s French pop targeted toward the international audience. Perhaps that's because much of her material is on the dainty and precious side, but that hasn't exactly stopped much other similar (and often inferior) fluff from the period appearing on such anthologies. Unless you have any interest in Goya's subsequent career as a children's music star -- and there's likely little if any overlap between fans of her '60s stuff and that later phase of her career -- this 20-track compilation, all taken from her 1964-1967 releases, is all you need. In fact, it seems to be everything she released (over the course of five EPs) during that period, as after 1967 she retired from music for a while. Goya's singing, and to some extent her material (some though not all of which was written by her husband Jean-Jacques Debout), might slightly recall the mid-'60s records by France Gall in their tuneful, fully orchestrated arrangements and childlike vocals. Goya's vocal persona, however, was far more tremulous and certainly more reserved than the more ebullient Gall. Yet while she didn't have much in the way of conventional prowess, she did succeed in putting over a likable and sexy whispery persona, if with less force and distinction than her top French girl singer rivals. Virtually all of this is above average ye-ye music if you have a taste for the style, and while it tends toward more ballad-oriented material, on occasion she did rock out somewhat, most notably on "Si Tu Gagnes Au Flipper" (quite literally translated "If You Win at Pinball") and the almost raucous "Tu M'as Trop Menti."